Independent Press Award
2024 Distinguished Favorite
What It Cost Us: Stories of Pandemic & Protest in DC
Shout Mouse Press Young Writers
This novel-in-stories by ten diverse young writers, complete with illustrations and photographs, chronicles the historic year of 2020 in Washington, DC, through pandemic, protests, election, and insurrection.
In this collaborative novel, ten diverse young writers from Washington, DC recreate the historic year 2020 from their perspectives, through fictional stories inspired by their own lived experiences. Told chronologically from the onset of the pandemic to the insurrection of January 6th, their stories of change and resilience are accompanied by maps, social media, original artwork, and real-life headlines to create an immersive experience of an unprecedented coming of age.
You’ll meet Faiza, a Muslim high school student, who struggles to celebrate Ramadan during the worst of the COVID-19 shutdowns. You’ll protest with Roman, the only Black student in his class, whose relationships are challenged in the wake of the murder of George Floyd. You’ll face the fraught 2020 election with Dennis, a young Nigerian immigrant, as he questions a democracy that seems to count him out.
By examining the shards of this shattered year, these authors explore “what it cost us” through stories that both acknowledge loss and celebrate what got us through.